There are two official language varieties in Norway: “Bokmål”, which is spoken by most Norwegians, and “Nynorsk”, spoken by around 10-15% of the population. Both are official languages, both appear on radio, television, in the press, and in everyday life. The country also has many dialects, which may be surprising given such a small population. The explanation for this, however, is simple. People inhabiting deep valleys and fjords accessible only from the sea rarely contacted each other. This has led to the development of extreme individualism in Norwegians and to many varieties of the native language.
Norwegian belongs to the group of Scandinavian Germanic languages. It is so closely related to Danish and Swedish that it is possible for representatives of the three languages to communicate with each other freely. Norwegian is written more like Danish, while spoken Norwegian sounds similar to Swedish. The Norwegian alphabet (identical to the Danish one) is based on the Latin alphabet; three of the letters appearing in it are not known in Polish, and they are:
- Æ (æ) – reads like Polish “a” that becomes “e”.
- Ø (ø) – it reads like the Polish “e”.
- Å (å) – reads like the Polish “o”.
Most Norwegians are fluent in English. However, if foreigners apply for a job, the Norwegian government requires them to learn Norwegian for a fee. The courses do not have to take place in Norway, but you have to take into account that it is the Norwegians who will verify your skills in using their language. The vast majority of Norwegian employers highly value the knowledge of Norwegian and require it from the people they hire.
In Norwegian, correct pronunciation and accent are very important (sometimes changing the meaning of some words!), so it’s worth learning from those who know it best, that is, from the Norwegians themselves. That is why we offer the possibility of learning Norwegian in our school
with experienced native speakers.
Useful websites for learning: